Healthcare Blog

Latest "Wellness" Posts

Why You Should Read

When people think of working out and wellness rarely do our thoughts go to our mind. Did you know that 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book the rest of their lives, 42% of college graduates never read another book after college, 80% of families did not buy or read a book last year, 70% of adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years, and 57% of new books are not read to completion. My bookworm self just gasped. I don’t necessarily read something that enriches my mind in a scholarly sense, but I read books that intrigue my mind and take me away to a happy place.

A recent Life Hack article attribute’s the slowing of Alzheimer’s and Dementia to the mental stimulation that reading provides. The brain as a muscle needs continued exercise to keep it sharp. It doesn’t matter what you are reading as long as it intrigues and piques your interest. Although, if you are reading things that broaden your knowledge base, you are creating lasting intelligence that equips you for life experiences.

There are times when I read that I come across a word that I’m not familiar with and will look up to discover the meaning enabling me to use it in context at a later date and time. While reading you’re expanding your mental capacity as you retain what’s written on each page. It could be as simple as following the characters and story line of a fiction book, or learning a new subject or concept. This continued act improves both your analytical thinking and your focus and concentration. As you dive into different types of books you are also reading different writing styles and perspectives, if you yourself write this can help improve your writing skills.

Now for my absolute favorite part of reading a book. The moment you are in the middle of those amazing smelling (Yes, I’m book nerd enough to love the smell of books!) pages, and you realize your heart rate has calmed and you’ve been taken away to another place. When reading you’re able to remove yourself from the world around and resound in the words before you. It’s by far my greatest stress release! It’s also incredibly inexpensive or free activity and entertainment. You can go to your local library, or if you have an iTunes account there is a slew of free electronic reads as well.

Do you read? If your answer is yes, please recommend something and explain why you enjoyed the book so much!

Read the full article from Life Hack HERE.

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , ,

Renew Your Skin with Aromatherapy Steam

I don’t know about you, but apparently every day I get a little older. I keep trying to reverse time, but I’ve had no such luck thus far. I look into ways to make my skin feel refreshed so that my bright and shiny skin stays just that way. I don’t ever want the glow to go! I absolutely love the way my skin feels from the steam when I go get a facial at the spa, but time and money don’t always allow for a trip to the spa. I looked into ways to have this same effect at home.Dried flowers

Mind Body Green is an amazing website for all things health and wellness and they give a great recipe for an aromatherapy facial steam. Steaming helps deep cleanse the skin, loosens and dislodges dirt and unclogs pores, improves facial circulation, encourages relaxation, and helps skin look renewed. Well sign me up I want all of that! I also need to note that a regular face care routine is advised for cleansing, but any of the extras like steaming, scrubs, and masks should only be done once or twice a week.

Don’t shock that beautiful skin by being too abrasive, be gentle! So for this epic aromatherapy steam here’s what you’ll need (I’m only listing for Dry Skin, because I’m up here in the beautifully dry state of Colorado, but you can find the ingredients for Normal, Oily, Sensitive, and Acne-Prone skin HERE):

Filtered, boiled water

1/2 cup of mixed, dried rose petals, fennel seeds, lemon verbena, elderflower, calendula

Make sure your start with a fresh and clean face.

Put all of the dried herbs and flowers in a large bowl. Then carefully pour the boiling water over the herb and flower mixture after it has cooled slightly. Let it steep for 1-2 minutes.

Position your face over the bowl and drape a light towel over your head, then breathe in the steam for one minute. Repeat for up to three minutes. In other words three times for a minute each. When you’re done splash some cold water on your face or use toner.

I’m a big fan of a nice long nap or a night of sleep after any spa treatment, at home or not. So relax and feel refreshed. Let me know how you enjoyed your at home steam aromatherapy session.

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Undiagnosed Diabetes?

Did you know that 8.1 million diabetes cases out of the 29.1 million people that have diabetes don’t know it? That’s Diabetes9.3% of the U.S. population that have the disease. The 8.1 million could be harming their body while continuing to leave their blood sugar levels out of control.

Untreated diabetes takes a toll on your heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves, as well as your gums and teeth. Unfortunately the symptoms are so minimal at first that it is hard to detect. With type 2 people often don’t know until there are problems from long term damage already caused by the disease. With type 1 symptoms come on faster and are much more severe. Early symptoms can be slow healing sores or cuts, pain or numbness in feet or legs, unplanned weight loss, as well as nausea and vomiting. Common symptoms for both types are hunger and fatigue, peeing more often and being thirstier, dry mouth and itchy skin, and blurred vision.

There are ways to keep your blood sugar under control and to stay healthy though. Here’s a list from Today.com:

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels
  • Take medication as directed by your doctor
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise! Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.
  • Keep a food record
  • Quit Smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all!)

These things along with eating a healthy diet are essential. Often times there are simple things that you can do in your diet that make what you are already eating healthier. Try exchanging croutons on a salad for toasted walnuts or instead of the ranch dressing try a vinaigrette. There are several small changes like these that can effect your blood sugar levels. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above you should consult a doctor and if you aren’t it’s never a bad time to start eating healthier and adding exercise to your daily routine.

Read the full Today article HERE

 

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Workplace Healthy Snacking

healthysnackWhether you are a morning person or not I don’t know, but either way the morning tends to get away from those of us that head off to your typical 9-5 job. I am not a morning person and am lucky to get in a cup of coffee before running out the door. Starbucks knows me by name and my choices for breakfast are often a jar of caffeine rather than something of sustenance. Without a full meal I need to turn to healthy snacking instead.

A few keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle are eating throughout the day with your first meal being right when you wake up or close to it and remaining hydrated. The thought of eating in the morning repulses me and I often don’t find myself hungry until lunch, but then I’m too busy and I look up and it’s already 5 o’clock with nothing having been consumed. Coffee is basically brown colored caffeine infused water though, so I’m good on at least half of this equation.

Bad habits all around, and I know that, so where do my habits need to change and what can be implemented to make changes? Preparing meals ahead of time is one way to remain on track, keeping a food journal is also beneficial, and accountability. Small frequent meals throughout the day help to curb hunger and give you the boost of energy you need to continue on with your tasks. Even a handful of almonds suffices as a “snack” to keep your metabolism on the up and up instead of the sedentary state mine is currently in for only eating a few peppermints nabbed from the bowl at our reception desk.

Habits start in the initial decision to make a change then develop from there. Do you consciously eat healthy throughout your workday or do you struggle with this like I do? Would you try meal prepping to stay on track? Read some tips on the Cooking Light website for healthy workplace snacks.

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Sleep, How Much or How Little?

The truth is there is no exact science to say exactly how much or how little sleep we should be getting. There is a recommended 8 hours, but that differs up or down depending on age, and is really just a recommended median in a window of time rather than an exact number. The National Sleep Foundation put out a chart to show it’s recommendations:

Sleep
It is often hard once we lay our heads on the pillow to wind down and to enter into the first stages of sleep. We get too distracted with external lights and electronic devices that it takes more time to unwind. There are four stages of sleep. The first being a very surface phase which people can be easily woken from. In stage two eye movement and brain waves start to slow, in stage three we enter what is called a delta or very deep sleep, and lastly Rapid Eye Movement or REM is the final stage. In REM we start to come out of the delta sleep and the cycle starts again.

An article on Sleepdex says, “Infants spend almost 50% of their time in REM sleep. Adults spend nearly half of sleep time in stage 2, about 20% in REM and the other 30% is divided between the other two stages. Older adults spend progressively less time in REM sleep.” This parallels the information from the NSP that shows a gradual scale from infancy to adulthood lessening the amount of recommended sleep.

All of these results are from studies and tests that were done, but I think the real results come from listening to our own bodies. There are nights when five hours suffice and others when twelve hours are perfect. In truth there is no exact number for just how little or how much sleep we need. How many hours do you get a night and do you consider it enough? Read more on the National Sleep Foundations website HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Are 8 Glasses of Water Really Good For You?

There have been countless times and countless things I’ve read that say to drink 8 glasses of water a day. So lugging around my water bottle and constantly running to the little restroom has been something I’ve become accustomed to on my journey to fitness. Today I came across an interesting article that intrigued me and I’m inclined to believe its truth over some of the others pushing the water bandwagon. Schmidt’s Human Physiology states, “A Person weighing 155 lbs requires at least 59 oz of water per day. Of this amount 650 ml is obtained by drinking, 750 ml is the water contained in solid food, and 350 ml is oxidation water. If more than this amount is consumed by a healthy person it is excreted by the kidneys, but in people with heart and kidney disease it may be retained.” If you go off of this you truly need very little water to maintain your hydration if you are keeping up with a balanced diet.

waterThe article written on Modern Health Monks blog is decently humor filled, but I love some of the information he gives. Noting that our body knows when we are thirsty and will tell us when to drink more water when we are in need of it. Moreover stating that constantly running to and from the restroom can’t truly be the best for us. That has been a question in my mind for a while now. I feel counteractive and wonder why I am drinking this much water if all my body is doing is getting rid of it. Water is extremely good for you don’t get me wrong, but with anything there is a balance.

There are very few things in life that are a one size fits all rule, and the gallon of water a day will and should differentiate with each person’s weight, diet choices, and a number of other factors. Instead of grabbing your water each day with the explicit goal of downing the gallon, perhaps we should be listening to what our body wants more. Do you think you are giving yourself enough, too little, or too much water? Read the entire article my Alexander Heyne HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , , ,

Essential Oils

Rarely can I read a news or social media feed today without seeing something about essential oils. It’s one of those everybody is doing it thing, and not typically being one who moves with the EssOilmasses on trends I was hesitant to try this new craze. Although, it’s not truly new. Using oils and the pure form of natural growing and living elements to heal is as old as time. The benefit of essential oils is that it takes each root, flower, twig, etc. and purges and purifies it for a highly concentrated oil. There are many companies that claim to have the best, and I won’t plug one in this post even though I have my favorite. They are also somewhat costly, but the benefits far outreach the cost in my eyes.

Each oil has it’s own health benefit and target symptom it treats. Many of the oils can be applied topically, ingested, or diffused depending on the concentration. A few of my favorites are Lavender for calm, a little on my pillow at night and I’m out like a light. Peppermint for headaches, rub a little on your temples and that throbbing pain starts to subside. Lemon oil in my water when I get bored of drinking my daily gallon and need a flavor boost. There are several preventative oils that are recommended for daily use to keep the sniffles away, oils that keep bugs away in the summer, ones for cleaning your house, and on and on.

On any given day if I can heal something within myself naturally I will choose that option every time. There is a great post on Dr.Axe’s website for 101 Essential Oil Uses. It’s a great place to start to see what oils might benefit you. Please note by no means am I giving medical advice and telling you to choose essential oils over any other recommendations by your doctor. This is just something I’ve added into my daily routine and I wanted to share. If you haven’t already jumped in on the craze yourself are you as intrigued as I was?

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , , , ,

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

If you haven’t already seen the pink ribbons starting to flutter around you then you probably will at some point this month. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and most people know breast cancersomebody going through this battle as we speak. According to the American Cancer Society a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. Although, the death rate for breast cancer is down 34% since 1990.

The high number of diagnosis push for early detection and screenings that allow medical professionals to target the disease in the beginning before it is too late. This month celebrates those six million victories of survivors, and helps raise awareness to those that don’t realize how many this disease effects. It’s not just women this disease effects either, it is estimated that 2,350 males will be diagnosed this year alone. A much smaller number than the estimated 231,830 women, but no less traumatic to the individual being diagnosed whether male or female.

The entire month of October is marked to bring awareness, but October 16th specifically is National Mammography Day, encouraging people to be screened as a precaution. The Susan G Komen foundation also organizes the “Komen Race For The Cure” where individuals raise money to find a cure and participate in a race. These races take place all over the country with the most notable race being the 3-day 60 mile walk in seven different cities across the United States.

With 1 in 8 women being diagnosed, what will you do to bring awareness? Simply wearing a pink ribbon might be all it takes to let others know how important it is to find a cure to this disease.

Read the full article from ABC News HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , ,

Food to Fight Depression

It is well known that mental illness is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s population or perhaps it’s that
we are becoming more aware that it’s a real issue so it’s being addressed with a more head on approach. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) it’s even one benefit that MUST be covered by your health plan at no cost to you. To put mental health as such a high priority in healthcare shows how much attention we need to pay to it.

I understand that many illnesses must be treated with a prescription, but if there is a way to stay away from a pill I will jump at the chance. Please don’t feel that I’m saying to drop your pills for your depression or anxiety if you are on them and opt for this option, but if you are feeling down this might be a way to help stimulate your serotonin levels and up your mood. FOOD, yes food is a way to help you. Now I know a piece of bread and butter always makes me happy until I get on the scale in the morning, but these recommended foods help to stimulate your chemical makeup and better that looming sadness.

Shawn Talbott, PhD, a nutritional biochemist says, “If we eat better foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and fish, we short-circuit the junk food cravings and have higher energy levels and sharper mental focus.” A few recommendations are turkey with it’s high levels of tryptophan which stimulates serotonin. Walnuts and fatty fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids help overall brain health. Low fat dairy has calcium, vitamin D, and protein that promote relaxation. High in fiber carbohydrates in whole grains help release serotonin. Green tea which is full of antioxidants holds an amino acid called theanine that contributes to relieving stress. Tumeric, a spice found in many Indian food dishes is considered the spice of life for all of it’s wellness attributes and last but not least dark chocolate helps release serotonin as well.

It’s intriguing to know that everything we put into our body reflects how we react in emotion and mood. Try implementing some of these foods into your daily diet over the next few weeks and let me know how you feel. Anybody else headed to the store to buy some dark chocolate like I am?

Read the full article on Every Day Health HERE

 

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Cry It Out

Have you ever heard somebody say to go have a good cry? The majority of times crying is not the result of something good, but a genuine cry can have its benefits. Many of the benefits are psychological and emotionally healing, but it can also help to release toxins and relieve stress. If any of you have had a good cry you’re wondering how this can be,artificial-tears because after said “good cry” you’re left feeling as if you’ve been punched in the gut and worn out. Well, that’s the initial response after we just wreaked havoc on our body, but the true results come later.

When you cry you release toxins. When we are stressed our cortisol levels are raised and crying helps release those. Dr. William H. Frey II, a biochemist and director of the Psychiatry Research Laboratories at the St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Centre, found like other endocrine processes, including exhaling, urinating, and sweating, toxic substances are released from the body when we cry. Tears also contain lysozyme which kills bacteria. So that good cry results in killing bacteria and releasing toxins.

Tears can also improve your mood. It sounds like an oxymoron, but a Study by the University of South Florida found crying can be self-soothing and elevate mood better than any antidepressant. I know crying isn’t exactly the cool thing to do, but next time you’re on the verge of breaking down, perhaps you should let the flood gates down and have at it instead of holding it back to save face.

Tell me what you think about all these tears? Are you one that lets it out or holds it back, and knowing that tears have benefits will you let them flow the next go round?

Medical Daily lists 6 ways that crying can benefit us HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , ,